SAN DIEGO -- A 22-year-old man was recovering Friday from severe injuries he suffered when an SUV crashed off Interstate 15 near Lake Hodges at high speed while being chased by the Border Patrol, killing three other occupants of the vehicle.
The San Juan Bautista, Mexico, native was the only survivor of the solo wreck, which occurred early Thursday afternoon at the end of a roughly 15- minute pursuit, according to the California Highway Patrol.
U.S. Border Patrol agents tried to pull over the southbound GMC Envoy near Deer Springs Road in the unincorporated Escondido area about 1 p.m., after a license-plate check determined that it was linked to an outstanding murder suspect, USBP spokeswoman Tekae Michael said.
The driver refused to yield, accelerating to speeds around 100 mph while trying to elude the federal personnel, the CHP reported.
Reaching the northern reaches of the city of San Diego, the fleeing motorist lost control of the SUV, sending it crashing through a guardrail and a fence and tumbling about 150 feet down a steep embankment.
All four occupants of the Envoy were ejected as it rolled down the hillside, CHP public-affairs Officer Jake Sanchez said. Two of them died at the scene of the accident, and a third was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later.
The names of the deceased -- a man and woman believed to be in their 20s, and a 28-year-old San Diego man -- have not been released.
Their medical records have been sealed by the medical examiner.
It was unclear which of the four occupants of the SUV was the driver and why he or she decided to flee. Investigators also remain unsure if any of them turned out to be the suspect the agents were looking for, Michael said.
Authorities did not release details of the homicide case that prompted the pursuit.